Library Needs Historical Mementos

Brad Goins Thursday, May 18, 2017 Comments Off on Library Needs Historical Mementos
Library Needs Historical Mementos

The Calcasieu Parish Central Library is still gathering materials from the public for the Pop-Up Museums commemorating Lake Charles’ 150th anniversary.

Gather your historical photographs, documents, artifacts and what have you, and bring them over to the Central Library.

The topic for the next Pop-Up Museum, set for May 20, is “Industry and Transportation.” If those words trigger any memories of any items in your scrapbooks, just make a trip to the library and show them your stuff.

Need more info? Call 721-7116.

Landry, Noveller And Michot

No, that’s not the name of a Lake Charles law firm. Those are the names of three musicians who’ll be giving solo performances at Lafayette’s downtown venue Sickbay on Thursday, May 18. All three were born in Acadiana. The show will blend traditional Cajun music with experimental stylings.

Cecilia native Dickie Landry is a saxophonist and flutist who’s definitely earned his avant-garde licks. He was a founding member of the Philip Glass Ensemble and has collaborated with such experimentalists as Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson and Ornette Coleman. But he also plays with swamp pop super group Lil’ Band ‘O Gold and Lafayette garage band Frigg A-Go-Go.

Using her guitar and the name Noveller, Lafayette native Sarah Lipstate composes music that expresses the “beauty of both the mundane and magical moments of waking life” as well as “the terror and bliss of the subconscious.” Her music has been described as “otherworldly.” As she’s been releasing eight albums over the last decade, Lipstate has moved from being influenced by NYC “wall of guitar” experimentalists Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth to collaborating with them. She’s also worked with Iggy Pop and “noise rock” band The Jesus Lizard, which was heavily promoted by Chicago noise guitar virtuoso and producer Steve Albini.

Also from Lafayette comes Louis Michot, who may be playing what will sound closest to traditional Cajun music. Since childhood, he’s performed with his family ensembles (Frères Michot, Michot’s Melody Makers) as well as the celebrated Lost Bayou Ramblers. His music is said to provide “a vibrant synthesis of a broad range of traditional and modern modes.”

Located in downtown Lafayette, Sickbay celebrates the “alternative creative community of South Louisiana” through house shows, pop-up markets and a yearly mini-festival. It connects local acts with those from Austin, Berlin, Los Angeles and other such cities. It records and releases new music from Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Seating for the May 18 show is limited. Tickets are $25 for general seating in the recording studio; VIP seating in the control room is $75. Both tickets are on sale through Eventbrite at

Refreshments and beverages are included with admission. Doors will open at 6 pm and music will begin at 6:45. There will be no admittance during performances.

The show is a collaboration between the Center for Louisiana Studies and Sickbay. It’s a benefit for the Center’s Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore. For more information, contact the Center for Louisiana Studies at or 337-482-1320.

Kelley Crafts Art For Waywords CD

Heather Ryan Kelley, Ricorso, 2017, ink, gold leaf, relief print, image transfer and watercolor on paper, 11 by 11 inches

Local artist and MSU professor Heather Ryan Kelley is continuing her series of works about James Joyce’s gigantic novel Finnegans Wake. Kelley recently created the cover art for CD and vinyl releases of Waywords and Meansigns: Recreating Finnegans Wake. Waywords and Meansigns is a new large-scale piece of experimental music that manipulates and otherwise uses many passages from Finnegans Wake.

In an interview with Hyperallergic Magazine, project co-founder Derek Pyle said, “The things that make the Wake hard to read are the same things that make the book so much fun to interpret musically. You can hear the text in so many different ways — there’s German and Gaelic, catechisms and Vedic sutras, all embedded in the text, and you can pull out whatever elements catch your fancy.”

The project was organized in 2014 as a collaborative effort to set Joyce’s book to music. The new recordings will be released on May 4, the anniversary of The Wake’s publication in 1939.

Kelley’s work of cover art, titled Ricorso, is based on a collage from her Midden Heap Project, which has been going on several years, and parts of which are often on view in local galleries.

In other news from this artist, one of Kelley’s art books was accepted in the 51st Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show  at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Artist Carlos Llerena Aguirre selected her accordion book titled “a battle”  for the exhibition.

To learn more about the Waywords and Meansigns project, visit and The Hyperallergic article is titled “Setting the Puzzling Language of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake to Music.”

What Would Happen?

You’ve probably read already that $1.3 billion in temporary Louisiana taxes will run out in 2017. And this time around, the annual budget gap will be about half a billion dollars.

When Gannett’s Greg Hilburn asked legislators how likely they thought it was that the Legislature would come to some sort of agreement or compromise about Gov. Edwards CAT tax plan, the funniest answer came from state Rep. Robby Carter, D-Greensburg: “I don’t believe we could get 70 votes to agree it’s Monday.” Of course, Carter knows a tax measure must get a two-thirds majority if it’s going to pass the House.

Less amusing was state Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette: “There are a lot of things coming out of the governor’s office that are dead on arrival.” State Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe, said about the same thing: “Before anyone panics, I would say that only a couple, if any, [of the governor’s proposals] will make their way into law.”

Word is that even Dems in the House were grumbling about the tax plan. Why? They feel they haven’t been getting money for their districts during the Edwards administration. But there’s been no spare money to spend. Yes, you know it and I know it. They don’t know it.

Of course, the main opposition to Edwards’ plan came from fiscal conservatives. These folks say the solution isn’t raising taxes; the solution is cutting state spending. Then, once again, they don’t make any spending cuts. (Editor’s note: Edwards’ tax plan was withdrawn from legislative consideration a week before press time.)

If spending cuts are the solution, why aren’t spending cuts made? Robert Mann put it succinctly in the Times-Picayune: “putting their ideology on paper — specifying which prisons, colleges, hospitals and DMV offices to shutter — won’t be popular.”

If you cut stuff in my district, I get mad at you and I vote against you. But I don’t care if you cut stuff in other people’s districts. But those other people are voters, too. And if their stuff gets cut, they get mad and vote against their representatives. The obvious solution is to talk a lot about spending cuts then refrain from making any.

I wonder whether we could be on the verge of the first session that can’t manage even a patch-work budget gap fix; the first session that ends with the state in default. What would happen then? I know, I know. There’d be a special session. But what if even that special session ended with the state in default. What would happen then?

(Having just written that beautifully constructed piece of rhetoric, I read the AP’s Melinda Deslatte’s report that the “temporary” 1-cent tax increase may be extended if legislators don’t come up with anything better. I have to admit, that sounds like exactly what would happen in the state that’s perpetually content with bringing up the rear.)

Turn Purple And Change The World

The Up Fronter received an email from the talent agency the Lippin Group on April 18. Here’s what it said:

“Tune in for your consideration —

“It takes mad skills to make music, but a legend to influence an entire genre. On the first anniversary of his death, Fuse and FM will honor the legendary Prince with a commemoration of his remarkable life and phenomenal talent. Fuse, FM and their social channels will also turn their logos purple for the day.”

One can barely imagine the glorious pride Prince must feel as he looks down from heaven and sees a couple of logos turn purple. That’s going to mean so much more than seeing an album turn triple platinum did.

Ya gotta love that “it takes mad skills” part. I’m so impressed I’ve changed the name of The Up Fronter Editorial Dept. to The Mad Skills Dept.

The News

“Dancing bug has all the right moves” — USA Today headline, April 11.

“Lana Del Rey pens song on way home from Coachella” — GMX, April 18

“Firefighters rescue kittens from storm drain” — CNN, April 19

Hey! Leave The Culture Alone!

New rules just passed unanimously by the City Council in New Orleans dictate that drivers can’t harass, yell at or throw things at bicyclists.

“Great,” I thought. “They’re trying to make it OK to ride a bike on the streets. The next thing you know, we’ll have pedestrians.”

Sure enough, those new New Orleans rules also state that drivers must follow the rules of the road that give pedestrians the right of way. Just to recap: drivers must follow the rules that are already in place.

Well, that’s just fantastic. I’m not saying I expect to see somebody walking down a road in Lake Charles in the next two or three years. I’m just saying Louisiana politicians are getting dangerously close to making it possible for pedestrians to walk down our roads at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Hey, politicians! If you have to make laws about taxes, licenses, zoning or stuff like that, well, OK. We’ll let you. We don’t like it, but the boat’s pretty much left the dock.

But please. Please. Don’t make laws that will change the culture. They won’t work anyway. You think you can use legislation to force Lake Charles drivers to be nice to bike riders? You might as well try to force them to learn how to drive.

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